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Essay series: Lessons from 150 years of science

In this collection of essays published to mark Nature’s 150th anniversary, leading historians explore how the past century and a half has forged some of the defining features of today’s scientific system.

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David Kaiser traces the roots of government support for science, in the first of a series of essays on how the past 150 years have shaped the research system, marking Nature’s 150th anniversary.

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Shellen Wu traces the rise of the dominant force in science, in the second of a series of essays on the ways in which the past 150 years have shaped today’s research system, marking Nature’s anniversary.

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Biological advances have repeatedly changed who we think we are, writes Nathaniel Comfort, in the third essay of a series marking Nature’s anniversary on how the past 150 years have shaped science today.

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How did data get so big? Through political, social and economic interests, shows Sabina Leonelli, in the fourth essay on how the past 150 years have shaped the science system, marking Nature’s anniversary.

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Historian Paul Lucier traces the explosion and fragmentation of industrial research in the fifth essay in a series on how the past 150 years have shaped today’s science system, marking Nature’s anniversary.

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Research cannot fulfil its social contract and reach new horizons by advancing on the same footing into the future, argues Philip Ball in the last essay of a series on how the past 150 years have shaped today’s science system, to mark Nature’s anniversary.

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